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Gear List || Backpacking Foot Care Kit for blisters & maceration

By Andrew Skurka / October 3, 2016 /

How many hiking and backpacking trips have been set back, or even ruined, by blisters, maceration, and other podiatric problems? Quite a few — including some of mine, unfortunately. To minimize these issues, I carry a dedicated foot care kit. I consider it a separate entity than my backpacking first aid kit. It contains several…

A backpacking gear list: Its importance and core functions

By Andrew Skurka / September 30, 2016 /

On a trip planning checklist, what’s the most time-consuming task? Making travel plans, preparing food, selecting a route — yes, they can all rank up there. But gear selection probably tops the list, especially for new backpackers and for veteran backpackers without experience in a particular location or season. A gear list will make this process much easier, for current…

Gear List || Backpacking First Aid Kit for soloists & groups

By Andrew Skurka / September 6, 2016 /

What I carry in my backpack is not a substitute for what’s between my ears. This is especially true with my first aid kit when hiking and backpacking in the wilderness: rather than thinking of this collection of items as a get-out-of-jail-free card, I’m much better served by having researched beforehand the environmental and route conditions I will likely encounter,…

Laughable: I started an AT thru-hike with a 4-lb stove system

By Andrew Skurka / January 4, 2016 /

For a reason I’ll share at a later point, last night I looked up the stove system with which I started my Appalachian Trail thru-hike in 2002. It was my second backpacking trip ever and I didn’t know much — and it shows. The entire kit weighed more than four pounds. In addition, I also started with…

Gear List || Winter backpacking stove system for 1-2 people

By Andrew Skurka / December 28, 2015 /

To have water for drinking and cooking when backpacking in the winter, I use a stove system that can efficiently melt snow. My gear list: Relevant conditions I pack my winter stove system when I have no or unreliable access to natural water sources — i.e. less than several times per day, and not necessarily…

Gear List || Stable backpacking stove system for groups & Philmont

By Andrew Skurka / December 27, 2015 /

With a few tweaks, my favorite solo backpacking stove system, The Cadillac, is a viable 2-person setup. But it’s a good solution only for those who are highly weight-conscious and/or who have unreliable access to pressurized gas canisters. Another go-to setup, Fast & Light, could also be used as a group stove, but for large pots…

Gear List || Premium & ultralight backpacking alcohol stove system

By Andrew Skurka / December 18, 2015 /

Between 2006 and April 2015, I made over one-thousand meals and hot drinks with The Dirtbag. Clearly, that system works. But it’s also imperfect. I was particularly tired of its poor performance in non-calm air; its unreliable stability was not a winning quality, either. So I upgraded to The Cadillac, and I don’t foresee going…

Gear List || DIY, ultralight & cheap backpacking alcohol stove system

By Andrew Skurka / November 29, 2015 /

Before I upgraded this year, the Dirtbag had been my go-to 3-season backpacking stove system. I used it for the length of the Great Western Loop, during the non-winter portions of the Alaska-Yukon Expedition, and for hundreds of nights on shorter outings and guided trips. The stove and windscreen are DIY, and the system is…

Backpacking Stoves: Five complete systems for soloists & groups

By Andrew Skurka / November 27, 2015 /

What are the backpacking stove systems that I use in 3-season and winter conditions when solo, as a couple, or in a group? In this multi-post series I will detail them, with complete gear lists and in-depth explanations of my selections. This is not meant to be a definitive list of viable stove systems. There are literally…

Core Backpacking Clothing || Check lists & systems for 3-season conditions

By Andrew Skurka / March 22, 2015 /

With just a 13-item collection of hiking and backpacking clothing, is it possible to be comfortable here? And with that very same kit, also here? And here, too? I think it is. Earlier this month I introduced the Core 13, a tight collection of hiking and backpacking clothing that can be mixed-and-matched to create appropriate systems for every…